A Picture Is Worth a Billion Words
By Travis Froehlich, AVP, Corporate Communications
April 13, 2012
Last week, Experian Marketing Services, a digital marketing service, released a report that ranked Pinterest as the third most popular social network in the United States, beating out LinkedIn and Google+. While it seems as though Pinterest just came on the scene, the social networking site was actually launched in March 2010. So, why has it been so successful in such a short time? And what is its potential for mHealth?
Let’s take a step back. For those who don’t know, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. While browsing the Web, you can “pin” images or videos to your virtual pinboard, which may then be repinned by those with common interests. Their mission is “to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” And it seems to be working. Initially finding a niche among hobbyists, Pinterest became a great way to share common interests, such as weddings, travel, fashion, and other types of visual inspiration.
Research shows that Pinterest is attracting a different demographic than the other social networking sites, which might be what is fueling their rapid growth. On February 11, a TechCrunch article, “Where The Ladies At? Pinterest
,” cited Inside Network’s AppData tracking service finding that over 97% of Pinterest’s Facebook fans are women. And clearly Facebook, which initiated an unprecedented $1 billion acquisition of Instagram (the mobile photo sharing app) this week, recognizes the power of photo sharing. Given these statistics, using Pinterest to champion mHealth presents both an opportunity and a challenge.
The opportunity is demographic—reaching affluent women between the ages of 25 and 44. According to a fact sheet
posted by the U.S. Department of Labor, women make approximately 80 percent of healthcare decisions for their families and are more likely to be the caregivers when a family member falls ill. Not only is there a gender opportunity, but a geographic one as well. The Experian report also stated that Pinterest has been more successful than its social competitors in capturing more rural users from the Midwest, Northwest, and Southeast.
The challenge lies in the presentation. To play in this social space, healthcare providers, product manufacturers, and even app developers are going to have to find new ways to make their messaging work visually. Healthcare marketers will need to find the right images and infographics in order to make use of this type of social site, once again forcing the industry to think differently.
Is Pinterest of interest to you? What potential mHealth opportunities can you foresee?